In an industry that is constantly evolving and always trying to stay one step ahead, trends come and go. There are gimmicks and tricks that quickly fade but the core concepts tend to evolve more slowly. In 2014 we will see some solid trends take shape in the hospitality industry. If your property hasn’t adopted at least one of the industry’s 10 most popular trends, it may be time to give your property a boost.
Revive your property with one or more of these trends in mind:
- Mobile bookings. There has been a large increase in mobile bookings. More guests are using their mobile devices to search and book properties. This is one trend that is sure to continue in the years to come.
- Utilizing sophisticated distribution channel management that allows you to specify a plan for your unique property.
- Cloud-based systems. With the ease of access, the ability to update in real time and no bulky hardware, cloud-based Property Management Systems (PMS) are sweeping the industry.
- Content and social media marketing. With a strong online presence, properties are able to create brand awareness, establish their authority and gain the trust of guests.
- Shifting the focus to direct bookings. OTA’s take a large portion of hotels’ budgets, so properties are looking to revamp their sites to increase direct bookings instead of going through OTA’s.
- Investing in visual media. Videos and photos are a great way to show – rather than tell – guests what to expect. Blending this with social media use on sites like Instagram and Pinterest is proving to be a great (cheap) marketing tool.
- Increasing international visitors. There has been an increasing number of foreign visitors to the U.S. creating an expanded customer base.
- Utilizing integration software. Creating one place for revenue management, channel management and PMS to live has streamlined the booking and management process.
- Emphasizing a quality “experience.” Leisure travelers are not just looking for a place to sleep any longer; they want a high quality of life during their stay.
- Offering high quality food. With a growing culture of foodies, guests are focusing on the quality of food available while traveling. There is a growing demand for healthy, natural and locally sourced options while on the road.
Capitalize on the trends that work best for your business model and your individual property. These are not a hard and fast rule to success. While some properties may benefit from investing in visual media, that may be out of the budget for another property and bringing the focus back to direct bookings may be the best route for another. It is not a trend that defines a hotel but a trend can help you to gain the edge that may put you ahead of a competitor, so find what works for you and work it.